Wednesday, November 23, 2011

It's Thanksgiving Time

You know it is Thanksgiving when you can't find your car because it is buried under the leaves.

You know it is Thanksgiving when your turkey neck stairs back in the mirror and it is worse than any turkey you have ever seen!

You know it is Thanksgiving when all your friends and relatives show up.  This is a good thing, right???
I am just kidding.  I like having friends and family around...  I feel like cooking and making aprons for everyone.   I guess I know what I will be doing the rest of the week.

Tracie C. is modeling the hat for me.

I want to share a new hat I just completed.  It is crocheted with handspun yarn.  I used kid mohair and it is very curly.  I hope the curls show on the picture.  It is spun in a way that a lot of the curls and crimp show.  I made this by crocheting around the posts of the previous row's double crochet, which also makes the hat extra thick.  The hat is reversible and I used a recycled blue jean seam to weave around the bottom double crochet row.  I will be positing the directions if there is interest in them.

The mohair was purchased raw from the Mohair Loft.   I rainbow dyed it, spun it, and crocheted it.

Happy Holidays!  Dawn

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I have been.............

I have been creating a little.  I finished a neck warmer shawl for a Christmas present.  I used homespun lumpy mohair to edge it and to hide where the increases were.  I hope she likes it.  I am not going to tell who gets it.  I have also made peacock feather Christmas ornaments.  I am ready to start crocheting a hat made with rainbow dyed kid mohair.  I spun up 3 bobbins this weekend.  How has your weekend gone?  Next weekend is Santa Days in Norwich, Kansas, and I will be there with my soap and yarn.  I will also be spinning.  Come join me!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

I have so much I want to tell you.................

I have so many irons in the fire that I want to share with you.  Today and tomorrow I am taking a spinning workshop with Jacey Boggs.  She is teaching us how to make controlled art yarn.  Today we made cables and tomorrow we get to make coils.  We actually did more than that, but I had to put it in a nut shell so non-spinners would not be asleep by the time they finished this paragraph.  Oh, by the way.  Jacey is famous in the spinning circle.  I even have a DVD  of hers and she has a book coming out very soon.  Now you know what I want for Christmas!!!   We are in a classroom at WSU.

Nancy is the one on the left and she taught me how to spin.

Jacey is the cute one wearing boots.
Nancy and April were in my spinning class back in 2003 ???
I also want to show you a tool I find helpful in felting  It is called a soap saver sack.  It is like the bath scrubbies as far as the material, but it is a bag to hold all of the bits and pieces of soap.  It is also helpful for older people or people that have a hard time holding soap since it has a cord to put around your wrist if you wish to.  I like to use this for rubbing the knitted or crocheted piece when I am hand felting something.  I know you can toss most any piece into the washer and dryer when felting, but I like to have more control over what I am felting.  I also tend to use a lot of mohair and it would clog my drains.  I have this item on my website---in pink.  I may have a couple in purple it you do not wish to have my favorite color.  LOL

I also found a good use for roasting pans.  I do cook and I am pretty good at it, but there is only so much time in a day, so we eat out a lot.   I love the home to smell like baked goods even if I am not baking.

My roasting pan is full of fragrance melts.
The last thing I will share with you this evening is how I rainbow dye wool.  I have a pan of kid mohair on the burner at this time.  I vary the number of colors and the colors from time to time.  I try not to add too much dye since the object is for all of the dye to be exhausted into the wool.  This means that you want the wool to be tired.  LOL  No, it means that all of the dye goes into the wool and is used, leaving the water clear.  This is what we desire, but do not always obtain.  If I have left over dye in the water when I am done, then I toss more wool into the pot with the leftover color and use it up, or add more color to the pot with the leftover with the left over color and use it up this way.  Don't throw it away.  When dying or creating, as with any media, observe the safety precautions.  Learn the desired or preferred methods.   Then do it any darn way you please!   It is art and you are the creator.  Now, back to my method, sorry but I got sidetracked.  LOL  I usually place wet scoured wool into the dye pot.  I add water with vinegar or salt or both, depending on the dye used.  Then I circle the inside of the pot along the edge with one powdered color.  Then I stripe or put an X or use more circles with the other colors.  Sometimes I place a little half way down the pot first so the bottom has color.  Then I may place a weight on the wool after I have had it on the heat for a little while.  I don't like to boil the wool, just get it nice and hot and let it stay hot for 30 min. or so and then turn the heat off and let the wool cool by itself.  If there is extra water around the edges of the weight along with some dye in it, as seen in the picture, it gives you the opportunity to place more wool around it.  I do not always wet the wool.  I like the wool to vary as I spin it since I get bored too easily.  I seldom spin white wool and dye it.  I like wool, even when using one color the have variations in it.  One thing I should mention is the need to follow basic rules when it comes to colors.  If you place blue and yellow together you get green,  if you place red and blue together you get purple, and if you place green and red together you get brown.  Watch the placement of some of your colors so you do not get a pot of yuck!  I personally like brown, but find that I do not need to dye brown since there are sheep which are naturally brown.

I was able to get all of the variations in this fiber using one dye pot.

This was dyed with the left over dye in the above dye pot.  It is a lovely gray and green.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Earth Shook and Shook!

We have been shaken with earthquakes twice in the last few days.  The first was Saturday around 10:30 and it was 5.6 on the Richter scale.  The Richter scale is for rating the magnitude or the amount of energy an earthquake releases.   Our whole house moved.  The latest one was at 8:47 last evening and it was 4.7 on the Richter scale.  I was laying on the bed watching a movie and the bed jiggled.  These quakes only lasted a few seconds, but we do not get shocks of this sort in Kansas.  An elderly friend and Kansas native reticently told me that she remembers a short earthquake in the late 1960's, but it was the only one she felt, until now.  There was also one in between these during my sleeping hours.  I did not feel it, even though it was also a 4.7 on the Richter scale.  The epicenter, (area directly above the origination of the earthquake), was around Sparks, Oklahoma, which is not far from Oklahoma City.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Making your own lace and floral tape.

I have been looking on line a little too much lately.  When I do, I usually have to spend some money and try new things.  Well, that is the case again.  I purchased an inexpensive sticker maker.  I purchased it so I could make my own tape.  They have colored tape available and it is rather expensive and most of it is not girlie.  I have to have girlie and bling!  Simply I will explain how the machine works.  Your paper, or lace goes between two pieces of paper.  The bottom one has sticky on it.  The top one is a see through Mylar-type paper.  Where your item is, it will remove the sticky and the rest of the sticky is removed with the top Mylar-type paper as you rub across your creations.

I am demonstrating the new tape while recycling old junk faxes from work.  I use these bags for my free soap samples.   I will use the new tape for scrap booking, labels, stationary, packaging, etc.